British-born midfield maestro follows former boss Rooney to the United States
Ravel Morrison will no doubt be hoping that 13 proves lucky as the Jamaican midfielder has reunited with ex manager Wayne Rooney by signing for Washington-based MLS outfit D.C. United.
The 29-year-old played under Rooney at Derby County last term, and following his release has followed the ex-England striker to the Audi Field on an 18-month deal.
Rooney, who played for the team towards the end of his glittering career, only took over the helm of D.C. United in mid-July. He was once a teammate of Morrison’s at Manchester United, where legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson famously rated the future Reggae Boy as “the most gifted young player I’ve worked with”.
Morrison ended up as a journeyman after leaving Old Trafford without making a first-team appearance. After difficult spells in England and overseas, he has been busy rebuilding his career and enjoyed a stellar season with Derby County in the English Championship.
Jamaica has benefitted from his recent resurgence, with the talented midfielder scoring twice from his 14 international appearances. However, his debut was not memorable as the Boyz were badly beaten 3-0 by Saudi Arabia in November 2020.
He is now an integral part of the Boyz, who next month face a stiff task at next month’s Austria Mini Football Tournament in Vienna (20-26 August). Jamaica will tackle a trio of teams who will be competing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the shape of Ghana, Morocco and hosts Qatar.
The Boyz had a torrid time during their CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, with head coach Theodore Whitmore replaced midway through the disastrous campaign by interim head coach Paul Hall.
Morrison has constantly impressed Hall, who recently hailed him as the nation’s best player. He opened his account for the Boyz with his maiden international goal in their nervous 2-1 World Cup qualifier victory over Honduras at Kingston’s National Stadium in late March.
Yet it is D.C. United who need the Manchester-born ace to start impressing now, as he has found it difficult to make an impact away from England with top-tier clubs in Italy, Mexico and Sweden.
Lucy Rushton, the club’s general manager, enthused over the free transfer: “Ravel is a dynamic and exciting player, who has experience performing at the elite levels in Europe and Mexico.
“He is a top-class midfielder with excellent technical ability and positional versatility. His game intelligence and all round attacking ability allow him to fit perfectly in the system and style that Wayne [Rooney] wants to play.”
Morrison is determined to become a welcome addition for the MLS side, and wily Rooney has certainly seen signs of him rediscovering the form that made Morrison the precocious talent one of the most exciting prospects in the sport.
Under Rooney’s guidance in England, Morrison was no longer the misfit by being a loose cannon – both on and off the pitch. He has finally proved his worth and his club career has seemingly calmed down.
Joining D.C. United is arguably a further test of his resolve and if he can continue to be carefully nurtured by both Rooney and Hall then Morrison’s silky skills will be a joy to watch for years to come.
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